Could Stem Cell Transplants Be the Cure for Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that affects the spinal cord, the brain, or both. It can cause serious impairments in the leg and arm movements, decreased sensation or feeling anything on your body, reduces our sense of balance and it may cause problems with our vision as well.

People with this condition have their lifespans reduced a bit compared to people who do not have it and there are over 100,000 people who are affected by it in the UK.

Just when people who have MS lost all hope; new research claims that there is a potential cure for the disease and that has something to do with the use of stem cell treatments.

The Study

There are 100 patients who took part in the study and they were from hospitals in Uppsala in Sweden, Chicago, and Sau Paulo in Brazil. All of them are affected with relapsing-remitting MS. This is where the condition either attacks or relapses after a certain period of remission.

The study involved the patients taking in some cancer drugs to help weaken their immune systems, which will then be rebooted with the use of stem cell injections.

There were two groups in that one received hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) and the other one received drug treatments.

After the procedure, both of the groups are consistently being followed up. After 3 years, 3 out of the 52 patients who had received the transplant failed compared to the 30 people who had experienced a relapse of their condition in the drug treatment group.

In addition, the people who had received the injections were able to report improved conditions while in the drug group, some people have reported that their symptoms actually worsened as time progresses.

To reiterate, all of the subjects in the HSCT group underwent chemotherapy to help kill their faulty immune systems. They then received stem cells derived from their own bone marrow cells.

Professor John Snowden, who’s had many experiences in treating people with MS, says that the study’s results are remarkable and that he is thrilled with them. He went on to say that the study was a “game changer”, especially for people with drug-resistant and crippling MS.

A Patient’s Story

Louise who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 2010 is now a healthy and happy woman. She told us that the condition has pretty much controlled almost the entirety of her life.

She recounts the experiences that she had where she was not able to get out of bed because of the instability that she has in her body. She also struggles to walk which made her sit in the wheelchair for the vast majority of her waking hours.

After receiving her stem cell transplant in 2015, she never had a problem with her condition anymore. She is now happily married to her husband, Steve, and she also gave birth to their baby daughter, Joy.
In parting, Louise said that her condition is now just a bad dream that she woke up from.

Author: Martin Lane